Regions face higher unemployment than cities

UNEMPLOYMENT across regional Queensland and NSW was more than 2% higher than in capital cities in January.

Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force figures, released on Thursday, showed NSW regional unemployment in January was 8.5%, compared to 5.8% in the NSW capital.

Similarly Brisbane's unemployment rate for January was 6.5%, compared to 7.3% unemployment in the rest of the state.

The figures showed the metropolitan and regional unemployment rate rose in January.

Nationally the ABS figures showed the unemployment rate sat at 6.8% in January.

In Queensland as a whole the unemployment rate rose from 6% to 6.9%, while in NSW the figures rose from 5.7% to 6.7% - just below the national average.

In contrast the unemployment rate across Victoria remained at 7.1% in the state's regional areas as well as in Melbourne.

Unemployment was a key theme in the Queensland election with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk promising to spend $180 million over three years to restart the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program.

Ms Palaszczuk also promised she would remodel TAFEs and spend $30 million on helping new start-up businesses.

The issue is also expected to be a key issue in next month's NSW election with the current ABS figure the highest since 2009.

NSW Labor this week announced a disability inclusion policy promising to spend $10 million to fund new employment initiatives.

However, the NSW Liberal Party has claimed the Labor policy would cut funding to training organisations causing people to miss out on apprenticeships.

- APN NEWSDESK



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